One of the most celebrated Soviet era poets, denounced by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev as a "bourgeois formalist," died on Tuesday at the age of 77.
Voznesensky, along with a generation of liberal-minded artists known as "children of the 1960s" enthusiastically helped Khrushchev dismantle Stalinism in the Soviet Union. But despite his international fame, Voznesensky proved too radical for Khrushchev, who had threatened to expel him.
"Get out, Mr. Voznesensky, to your overseas seniors [referring to U.S. audience]," Khrushchev publicly shouted at the poet in 1963. "I will order a foreign [travel] passport for you!"
In the 1960s, the Soviet government criticized the poet for his excessively metaphorical verses that were rather ambiguous in their interpretation. The Soviets realized the poet could hide anti-Soviet ideas between the lines. His poems were illegally published and then quickly distributed among the readers.
However, the surge of criticism from Soviet authorities served for Voznesensky excellent publicity abroad.
In the United States, France, Germany, Italy and other foreign countries, the poet's recitals gathered thousands of people in concert halls and universities. The audience was willing to hear words of wisdom from a man whose homeland was suffocated by Stalin's heritage.
Voznesensky was accepted in U.S. jet set society. He made friends with Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg, celebrated playwright Arthur Miller and his then-wife, Marilyn Monroe.
The late Senator Robert Kennedy enjoyed reading Voznesensky's poetry.
The next Soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev, due to his more liberal traits of character, recalled the poet, and in 1978, Voznesensky was awarded a Soviet state prize.
He was also an honorable member of ten academies, including among others, the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
MOSCOW, June 1 (RIA Novosti by Anastasia Markitan)